This document provides answers to frequently asked questions related to Public Comment at CPS Energy Board of Trustees’ meetings.
WHAT IS PUBLIC COMMENT?
Public Comment is a period of time that is dedicated during Board meetings for members of the public to address the CPS Energy Board of Trustees about posted agenda items for that meeting.
WHAT TOPICS CAN I TALK ABOUT?
You can speak on specific agenda items posted for the current Board meeting.
WHAT IF I WANT TO TALK ABOUT OTHER ITEMS?
Written comments may be provided to staff members who will provide them to the Board of Trustees. Additionally, there are several other communication channels:
- Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone at 210-353-2222
- U.S. Postal Service to P.O. BOX 1771 San Antonio, TX 78296
WHERE IS PUBLIC COMMENT?
Public Comment takes place in the same location as the CPS Energy Board of Trustees meeting, as specified in the posted Notice of Meeting. This is generally in the Board Room inside the CPS Energy Main Office at 145 Navarro St. San Antonio, TX 78205. On the day of the meeting, the Board may, at its discretion, move meetings or segments thereof to other locations to accommodate the size of the audience.
HOW DO I REGISTER TO SPEAK?
Interested speakers need to register in-person on the day of the Board meeting at the designated registration desk at the meeting location. Registration is open for 1 hour, until 15 minutes before the start of the meeting. For example, registration is open from 11:45am CST to 12:45pm CST on days when the Board meeting begins at 1pm.
Speakers will be called to speak in the order that they register.
HOW MUCH TIME WILL I HAVE TO SPEAK?
- All individuals and groups must be successfully registered before being recognized and provided their designated time to speak.
- Individuals will receive a time allotment of two (2) minutes each.
- Individuals needing translation services will be given four (4) minutes to allow time for the translation of their comments. Additional guidance is provided below for speakers who wish for their comments to be accepted in a language other than English and who desire translation.
- Groups (comprised of three or more individuals) will receive six (6) minutes to speak.
- At least three (3) persons must register on behalf of a group in order for the group to be allotted six (6) minutes to speak.
- The group must collaborate and choose one person to speak on its behalf.
- Persons registering on behalf of an organization or group may not be permitted additional two (2) minutes to speak if the organization or group has already been allocated six (6) minutes to address the Board.
- The Board Chair or Presiding Trustee has the discretion to reduce time allotments.
I’M COMING TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF AN ORGANIZATION. MAY I GET THE TIME ALLOTMENT FOR A GROUP?
- No, not if you are by yourself. A minimum of three (3) individuals must be registered and present to speak as a group in order to be recognized as a group or organization.
- The group must collaborate and choose one speaker to speak on behalf of the group.
I CAN’T MAKE IT IN TIME FOR THE MEETING. CAN SOMEONE ELSE SPEAK FOR ME?
Someone can read prepared comments on your behalf, but they must register to speak under their own name.
MAY I ASK THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES QUESTIONS DURING MY TIME SLOT?
The Board of Trustees will not comment, either positively or negatively, in response to a speaker’s comments. Time is provided to a speaker so input and perspective can be provided without interference.
Further, State law (Texas Government Code Sec. 551.042) prohibits Board members from responding.
MAY I TAKE VIDEOS OR PHOTOS DURING THE MEETING?
As long as you do not interfere with the speaker(s), cause disruption to those in attendance or block the view of any individual behind you, you are allowed to record during the meeting from your seat utilizing a cell phone, still photography camera or handheld recording device. Utilization of a tripod or other floor equipment poses a safety hazard and is not allowed.
Flash photography is not permitted during an active Board meeting.
Members of the media may work with our Corporate Communications team to record the meeting from designated media areas. Please contact the Corporate Communications team at 210-353-2344 with any questions.
I WANT TO SHOW A VIDEO/SLIDESHOW/PICTURES. WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
Soft or electronic copies of materials or videos are not permitted.
MAY I PASS OUT DOCUMENTS TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES?
You may provide printed hard copies of any materials you wish to share with the Trustees when you register to speak. Please bring 7 copies of your handout(s) - one for each of the five (5) Board members, the CEO and a file copy.
CAN CPS ENERGY ASSIST ME WITH MAKING COPIES OF MATERIALS FOR DISTRIBUTION TO BOARD MEMBERS?
No, CPS Energy does not provide printing or reproduction services.
MAY I BRING SIGNS OR PROPS TO ILLUSTRATE MY POINT?
There will be no signs or props other than the CPS Energy displays that any speaker may use to illustrate a point. Since carrying personal signs or props could block the view of the audience, they are prohibited.
DO I HAVE TO BE A CPS ENERGY CUSTOMER TO ADDRESS THE BOARD?
You do not have to be a CPS Energy customer to participate in its Public Comment process.
WILL MY PERSONAL INFORMATION BE MADE PUBLICLY AVAILABLE?
Any information provided at registration is public record.
MAY I ADDRESS THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES IN A LANGUAGE OTHER THAN ENGLISH?
Yes, you may address the Board of Trustees in a language other than English. You may bring your own translator who must be added to the translator section of the Speaker Registration Form. As noted above, if you want your comments to be translated during your time allotment, your speaking duration will be doubled.
If you want in-person translation assistance from CPS Energy, the company’s Staff will use reasonable efforts to accommodate your request. Please indicate that translation services are needed on the Speaker Registration Form.
Mistranslations are never intended but could occur. CPS Energy is not responsible for any errors or omissions in its effort to translate a speaker’s comments.
If translation services are not available due to a lack of appropriate resources that day, you may still provide your legibly written or typed comments and CPS Energy Staff will use reasonable efforts to provide the Board with a written translation within 30 days after the meeting.
WHAT OTHER THINGS SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC COMMENT AT THE BOARD MEETING?
- A speaker's name will be called two (2) times. If there is no response, that person will forfeit his or her opportunity to speak at this meeting, and the next speaker will be called.
- Please be courteous so that we can hear each speaker without interruption. A speaker’s time is limited and any applause or talking from the audience will interfere with his or her time.
- Out of respect for all meeting participants, guests inside the meeting room should silence their mobile phones and remain silent while the meeting is in session.
- No person attending this event may delay, interrupt, disrupt the meeting or refuse to follow a request from the Board Chair or presiding Trustee.
- Meeting speakers, guests and attendees shall remain seated except for the person speaking at the microphone and registered speakers moving to the front row near the microphone.
- All speakers are asked to introduce themselves (say their full name, organization or group name & title (if any) to the Board when they begin their comments.
- If for any reason a registered speaker is unable to address the Board of Trustees that person may submit his or her comments in writing to CPS Energy’s staff and they will be promptly provided to the Board.
- A person may choose to bypass the entire Public Comment process at their discretion and instead submit written statements via:
- A timer will be displayed on the screen to alert speakers to their time remaining. After the allotted time has expired, the speaker will have 5 seconds to wrap-up.